In a year filled with development news, it was the ever-changing landscape of the Falls Church business community that captured the most attention out of all the happenings in the City this year.
Now, as December nears its end and the Little City prepares to welcome in the New Year, the News-Press takes a look back at its most popular stories from the previous 12 months.
The revolving door of business closing and opening announcements swept our Top 5 Most Read stories list as readers commiserated and reminisced over the news of long-standing City businesses shuttering for good in 2019, while they cheered (or lamented) the announcements of openings and impending arrivals.
1) Mad Fox Brewing Company Announces It’s Closing
July 9, 2019
In July, Mad Fox Brewing Company announced it was closing after a nine-year run in the City of Falls Church. The pioneering craft beer operation, helmed by brewmaster Bill Madden, was a victim of the area’s incredibly competitive craft beer market it helped usher in when it first opened in 2010.
An outpouring of support and sentiments from customers and industry folk paid tribute to Madden and his Falls Church brew pub during the last weeks of operation which was highlighted by a ninth anniversary party just days after its closing announcement.
2) Frozen Dairy Bar Custard Return
March 21, 2019
The site of longtime Falls Church favorite Frozen Dairy Bar had been sitting dark in a strip mall on Route 50 for more than six months until Usman and Lilly Bhatti announced they were bringing back the frozen custard last spring.
First opened in 1950, the original Frozen Dairy Bar roadside stand was a Falls Church landmark and, through its various iterations, a frozen favorite of the community for the past 70 years. News of its impending return was gobbled up by readers just like its custard has been since the Bhatti’s restaurant, DC Steakholders, opened this past April.
3) Whole Foods Signs Lease For Downtown Falls Church
November 18, 2019
If there’s one thing Falls Church loves, it’s its grocery stores.
With the City already boasting four full-sized supermarkets inside its limits, news that Whole Foods signed a 20-year lease for 50,000 square feet at the center of downtown Falls Church nearly broke the internet (well, The Little City internet, that is).
Insight Group made the announcement that the Amazon-owned chain would anchor its new mixed-use development at the intersection of E. Broad and N. Washington St. and readers had plenty to say about it.
Comments on the news included: “Amazon taking over!,” “The Little City about to be The Medium City soon,” “The best news ever!,” “Great – the geographically nearest place yet outside of which I can protest Jeff Bezos’s existence on the planet,” and just about everything in between.
4) Hole in the Wall Books Closes After 40 Years
August 7, 2019
Edie and Michael Nally had been selling used books and comics out of a cozy blue house on Broad St. in the City for 40 years when they decided it was finally time to shut up shop.
Hole in the Wall Books, a Little City institution since 1979, ended its run this past August when the couple closed the store’s doors for good. They said it was a personal decision though, in part, it was so they could spend more time with their family. A 150-mile round trip commute made the decision all the easier.
During its last month of business, the Nallys slashed prices on inventory and customers, past and present, came out in droves to pay their respects at the closing of the Falls Church establishment.
5) Baddpizza to Bring Buffalo Pizza & Wings to Little City
September 12, 2019
When Buffalo, New York native Joel Salamone told the News-Press in September he was bringing his hometown pies along with authentic buffalo wings to the Little City, the excitement was palpable. Unable to find any pizza he likes in the area, Salamone decided it was his job to bring edge-to-edge toppings, a sweeter sauce and a not-too-thick and not-too-thin crust to Northern Virginia with Baddpizza.
Salamone originally hoped to start slinging cup-and-char pepperoni pizza and wings from Broadale Village Shopping Center in November but he told the News-Press this week their new target is the end of January.